Monday, 24 December 2012

Back posting in the new year. New year, New work, New approaches, fuck it I may even change my profile picture........

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas Killip.

Last post of the year goes to Manchester based photie artist Ed Watts and his irreverent take on the work of one of this years Deutsche Borse Prize nominees Chris Killip. MERRY CHRISTMAS KILLIP can be seen HERE .

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Daniel Gordon

I first came across the work of Daniel Gordon when I was looking on Google for stuff by Douglas Gordon. It was a happy search engine hiccup. Appropriation. Taking images again often from online and turning them into 3D then the camera is needed to turn them back into 2D. That's the interesting thing for me, the camera is still as much an integral part of the process. Why do I like that ? is it because I love the art and craft of fine photography?  Is it because  perhaps his work can be seen to be exploring ideas such as photography's roll in the modern image savvy world  when digital imaging can take on the job of representation? Do I like his work because it is perhaps a 'kick back' at slick perfect picture making, a bit 'make do and mend' like knitting and baking. Is it because he is the Kirstie Allsop of photography?
The reason I love the work of Daniel Gordon is all of the above but mainly because he makes nuddy women out of old magazines.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Fourteen Nineteen.

People sometimes send me in submissions. I don't get as many as I did back in the photo blogging heyday which I think was a couple of weeks in 2009 but I still get some. I got one the other day from a third year student who manged somehow to use an email address I couldn't reply to. They also sent me nothing to look at and when I searched online they had no website.
That is how not to get yourself out there or how to operate in 2012. Photographers Alex F Webb and Lewis Chaplin  are frighteningly pro-activeThey are two halves of the online gallery Fourteen Nineteen which they say of "we attempt to provide a sincere, engaging platform for interacting with the next generation of torchbearers for contemporary photography."  They also find time to study (Alex is still a student) they publish indie photo books counting Ryan McGinley amongst their fans and set up exhibitions. No wonder the young pups got no time to brush his hair. 

I'm tired just writing about them.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


“My wife Yoko first brought Chiro home from Kasukabe when she was just a four month old kitten.”
– Nobuyoshi Araki, Itoshi No Chiro (Chiro, My Love), 1990

Oh no I hear you scream bloody cats on the web. Get used to it, there may be a few more around here over the next couple of weeks. I love cats me. Dogs are OK but they can be prone to eat their own shit. Cats don't even like to look at theirs.
 Araki loved his cat so I'm in good company. Thought I'd make some cat work, so I've been looking at cats in Art as well as all that 'Cats in sinks' Internet shite .
 THIS series by Araki is a good place to start. It's as good as animal photography gets. "Never work with animals or kids" they say. Animals because it's hard, kids because it's Britain and you would probably get nonced off but that's a post for another day.

Anyway more cat stuff coming up. I'm just a smitten kitten me.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Andy Adams.

I may be wrong and he may eat babies but in the few dealings I've had with Andy Adams from amongst other things FLAK PHOTO he has always come over as a nice bloke. Nice bloke and dedicated and forward thinking photography bod. So it was great to listen to him on THIS talking about how photography may live on the web in the future and how that is effecting photo aesthetics. Clever stuff and a few nice tunes while you listen.

Large False Ones.

I have spent the last couple of days making a couple of giant false fingernails. It's a dirty job but someone has to do it...

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Deutsche Borse 2013

Image Christina de Middel

Deutsche Borse 2013 shortlist is out. Chris Killip, Broomberg & Chanarin, Christina de Middel and fuck me Manchester's own Mishka Henner! I'm so chuffed for him, well deserved. It's a funny line up this year though. Mishka and Broomberg & Chanarin I get but I've never heard of Christina de Middel before although having spent sometime looking at her website I do like her series that she's been nominated for 'Afronauts'.  I can see some people thinking  white folk taking funky African pictures again and to be honest looking at the rest of her stuff I bet she can't believe her fucking luck, but fair play to her.

Chris killip? The old camera club chaps and clampits such as wee Sean O'Hagen are all shouting for him and as I've made clear for me he's taken one of the all time great portraits but jeez that was 30 years ago.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Jonathan Lewis

Jonathan Lewis is a facebook friend. I've not posted up his work here because of that. Oh no other way round. Fact is I really like his work and that's why I wanted to be his facebook friend. LIKE LIKE, LIKE. HERE for more.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Gemma Marmalade

I always hated the name Mark Page. It's just a couple of dull noises. Uh Uh. I would have loved a name like Gemma Marmalade.  Mark Marmalade, now that would have been something.

 Ms Marmalade's work partly deals with sexual orientation, you got to be careful with shit like that, this is the art world and like Manchester everyones gay, or at least art about such thing's is a well trod path. Give a lesbian photographer a camera and portraits of female boxers could well be on the cards.

That's no good for our Gemma. She researched and found out that in the 1950's far from just eating sick off the pavements  pigeons could also tell if you were gay or not or so some people came to believe. Now when such things were illegal (being gay not eating sick) getting grassed up by a pigeon was a bit of a shitter. That's the background for her 'STRANGE BIRDS' . I reckon this bird is one to watch.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

I could could get upto so much shit with one of these....


Goodbye photography hello photography. 3D printing. Some lucky artist with shit loads of money will soon be making a name for themselves playing with these new 3D printers. My money is on Dame David Hockney, at least if the company that makes them has any PR sense. From SNAP! Orlando........  
3D Printer Photo Booth Makes Figurines:

Instead of photos, Tokyo’s stylish Harajuku district will soon be home to an unusual pop-up photo booth—customers will walk away not with photos, but with 3D printed figurines of themselves. The customer is first 3D scanned in a process that requires them to stand still for 15 minutes. A 3D model of the customer is then refined on a computer before output to a 3D printer. The figurines are available in sizes ranging from 4 to 8 inches. The 3D printer photo booth will be open November 24 to January 14, 2013.

(Although that model fella has a girls front bum which is a bit of a worry)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

From a party at URBIS the first time...

Ciaran Og Arnold

I love this picture it blew me away when I saw it in SOURCE GRADUATE PHOTOGRAPHY. It's the single most memorable image I've seen in a while. I think I will remember it for a long time and also remember who it's by. I think as visual artists that's the best we can hope for.
I've been a fan of Ciaran's work since I first saw it back in SOURCE in 2007. With this latest series 'No Day or Night' he's took it up a notch. They are photographs of the inhabitants of a town, we are not told where or when. Like my favourite stuff from Japan or Denmark, existential documentary could that be a genre? HERE for more.
You will notice that the link takes you to a site called FINDING FRAGMENTS well worth a look round in it's own right. Work made by photographers who studied under such luminaries as Paul Seawright and Donovan Wylie.

Monday, 5 November 2012


So the new SOURCE magazine is out and with it comes a pamphlet 'SOURCE MA/MFA GRADUATE PHOTOGRAPHY ONLINE 2012'. I love SOURCE it's one of my favourite mags (even if the writings a bit skew sometimes) and I love this list that comes out as well. Much more interesting than the CRITICAL MASS list I mentioned in the last post. There's some proper intersting work coming out of British and Irish uni's I'm going to flag up my highlights from the list over the next week or so. It's daunting really, so much new talent coming online year after year. And they want to take art off the main curriculum, good it might give the rest of us a fucking chance. 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

CRITICAL MASS 2012 Top 50 and my Top 3.

 Paula McCartney's 'A Field Guide To Snow and Ice'

Photolucida have released their CRITICAL MASS TOP 50. There are a lot of names and work in there that you may well have already seen floating around on blogs and in magazines. Some pretty well known names, Tony Fouhse Lucia Herrero and Michelle Sank to name a few. Still a goodly dose of angst ridden teenagers and  people  still seem scared to let go of the whole NEW TOPOGRAPHIC thing. I can't argue with the choices though as looking at the list of jurors (I stopped counting at 100) it seems to consist of all the great and good of the photography world! So I'll shut up and just point out my favourites from the list. Paula McCartney Thomas Jackson and Meike Nixdorf

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Another Little Daido Moriyama Film.

Good camera choice cocker! Can you call the great man cocker?

I'm Not Dead,

I've just been busy trying to start stuff before I've finished stuff and while I'm still half way through other stuff. You ever get like that ? Heads up my arse and need to focus and finish one thing at a time. So the blog gets pushed back.
If anyone wants to help out around here it would be appreciated. If you want to write something for the blog let me know. Obviously you got to know something about photography/art/Manchester. You'll get full credit and a decent sized friendly audience. If you're interested let me know at

Monday, 22 October 2012


EJ Major is this months speaker at The Alternative Camera Club down at The Whitworth Art Gallery. She fits into the remit of the ACC which  looks at what's interesting and fresh in approach within the often conservative and boring world of photography. "Now where did I put my 50% grey card ? I saw it last in my Billingham bag..."

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Friday, 19 October 2012

Marc Provins

The day before yesterday we had hyena's lions a panther and Lady Gaga, today we have.....Hydrangeas in front gardens. To be honest it's more up my street than ZAF (South African rap in case you're wondering) Although from South Asia, there's something very British about the humble Hydrangea. A bit lower middle class 50's Britain, a bit of a Philip Larkin of an ornamental shrub. I bet Jarvis Cocker would have loved to have been born as a Hydrangea.

I love Hydrangeas my Nan had them and now I grow them. They remind me of my childhood you could fill a council house front garden with a big Hydrangea bush. A nice splash of easy to care for colour, not to showy, with a nice bit of privacy thrown in. I've been partly shaped by my Nan's Hydrangea bush. Our past and environment make us who we are. The above series PH6 by Manchester photographer Marc Provin is  about such things. Not enough acid will turn you blue and no one wants to be a blue. see more of Marc's work HERE.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Die Antwoord and my old mate Roger Ballen have been playing nicely together again and come up with this video. WARNING contains swearing words and scenes of gynaecology...

Friday, 12 October 2012

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is one of most favouritistist photographers in the whole wide world ever so I am very happy that he has a new show at THE PHOTOGRAPHERS GALLERY starting today as well as a new book  coming out soon called 'Men & Women'
You can read more about old Tom HERE on the BBC website. Carry on and read the comments, that should leave us photo people in no doubt what most non Doc/Art photo people think about our twating about and the worth of what we do.
Now if only I had an archive of Jimmy Saville photo's people would buy into that shit.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Pelle Cass

Images Pelle Cass

One of the hardest things for me is going up to someone and asking to take their portrait. Now can you imagine going up to someone and saying can I take loads of pictures of you so I can reassemble your face and show something different about you? Unfortunately in the process you may come out looking like..well I'm not sure what. It's fun though and strange so he calls the series "Strangers".

And look closely at this scene. You set up a tripod take loads of pictures of a view and take out the people you don't want and keep the rest. If only you could do "Selected People" in real life. I love the mad head photo's of Pelle Cass.

Monday, 8 October 2012


"Crabtree watching the Transit of Venus from a flat above a kebab shop, Broughton 1639" by Ford Madox Brown, a mural at Manchester Town Hall.

Many years ago in Salford you could well have heard William Crabtree talking about space or Karl Marx telling Engels what's what over a scoop at The Crescent. These days you are more likely to hear "Chelsea eat yer fucking chicken nuggets". But there are enclaves of more academic chat to be found in Salford. Not all Salfordians use the Lowry centre solely for auditions for Twat Factor. Oh yes we have our thinkers as well as our tinkers.

I must confess I didn't know that Salford had it's own branch of the TED organisation not till one of it's members Mike Metcalf got in touch to tell me about and event at The Lowry on the 21st of this month. He also pointed me in the direction of an interesting article about photography he had written HERE on the TEDXSalford site. Nice one, Salford has a broader intelligencer than me and Peter Hook.

Marten Lange

I love Sweden. Naked sauna's meatballs dark detective films Marten Lange's photography...

Monday, 1 October 2012

A Few More Towards The 21st Centuryerers

Image Stephen Gill

Carrying on with the Towards The 21st Century or The Brave New World of Photography or So What's New (as I settled on) a discussion going on in photoblog land which was started by Joerg Colberg and Colin Pantall a couple of weeks ago, I've come to one or two conclusions. First off considering how many millions of photographers out there and thousands that I personally have seen, it's amazing that two of us picked the same photographer for our lists. I think that's a whole new discussion about the state of modern photography right there.
                                   Anyway being a bit thick and feeling a bit intimidated at being in such photo illustrious company I did two lists because the first one I did I thought I had got hold of the wrong end of the stick. My list was a list of five photographers who I suppose could be said to be at the top of their game, reached the heights of this tree where if they wanted to they could laugh ha ha ha and close down their websites in the safe knowledge that a load of little sycophantic twats would do all the promo work for them. My second list that I posted here was with perhaps the exception of Mishka who's bloody everywhere photographers who could do with being a bit better known.
                         So my first list not published here (are you following this?) was as follows...

  Alec Soth because of Sothism.
The Broomberg & Chanarin twins
Stephen Gill The cockney Bristolian
Taryn Simon and her cockeyed tiger
and last and by no means least
Paul Graham just because.

Again my earlier point about us all creating similar lists to each other. I know why I picked these folks it's their different take on the document. That's what I love, taking that documentary art thing and giving it a good fucking push. Take Stephen Gill's latest series and book (you can read about it here)  'COEXISTANCE'. Is there any other photographer who explores the actual materiality of the photograph and it's presentation as much as Gill? Some will and have accused his work of being gimmicky, that's like saying that Pointillism is gimmicky.
                                          So that's what I'm on the look out for over the coming years, documentary photographers who are looking at new and exciting ways to use the photograph to document because that for me is photography's future.

Monday, 17 September 2012

So What's New?

Colin Pantall posted THIS I contacted him and said  "I'll have some of that what do I do?" He emailed me back and said,

Dear photography blogger,

To celebrate new ideas in photography, we are asking people to nominate up to five photographers who have demonstrated an openness to use new ideas in photography, who have taken chances with their photography and have shown an unwillingness to play it safe. These three categories can be interpreted in any way. We ask that people put their nominations up on their photography blogs starting Monday, September 17th, with a short text and a key image (from 100 words up to however long you think "short" can be) as a nice way to kickstart the Autumn: a collective effort of the photography blog community.

Colin (Pantall) & Joerg (Colberg)

So then in no particular order as they say......

Mishka Henner

from the series BLISS

Playing for team GB and good old Manchester town I can think of few photographers who have either mined the t'internet so resourcefully or managed to bridge the photographer or artist, artist or photographer this shit can sit happy in any gallery I don't need to exist in a photo ghetto riddle. A true Cyberman. 

 from the series PEDIATRICS

A Frenchman who's not afraid to get his little compact out even in front of sick kids. Finding pictures close to home without the need to travel, and all cut through with deft and gentle humour. A clever photographer. Keith Arnatt's bastard son.

Or the zineman. Founding father of rough n ready photo zine publisher CAFE ROYAL BOOKS this fella gets his booketts and other peoples into the collections of such places as TATE, MOMA and the V&A. Photo's with no faff.

Stuart, a photographer originally trained by the British army is probably best known for his work about that same said army. In more recent years he has used his no bollocks approach to document other mainly British subjects who are either being shafted or shafting themselves.

TomRS is THE godfather of  PHOTOBLOGism which along with BLURBism has been one of the new minor religions of the 21st century. It's like he's got a camera instead of an eye like in an 80's film but he's a good guy, a superhero of the everyday.

So that's my 5. What links them? I believe in what each one of these artists is up to, the fact that there is a strong and interestingly new documentary approach to what they do. Documentation is such a strong ingredient in photography but so many of today's practitioners are not interested in  exploring the document in new ways. Well what do you think? Ah fuck it, let history decide. 

You can see what other bloggers think by clicking on these names....  Colin Pantall Stan Banos Harvey Benge Joerg Colberg Mrs Deane Andrew Phelps and Others.

Thursday, 13 September 2012


For twenty years or so I've been believing a lie or perhaps more accurately not believing the truth. I like to think I'm media savvy but the press in this country sowed a seed of doubt in my head back in 1989 and the years that followed, that maybe just perhaps it was the scousers fault, lets face it there's no love lost between UNITED and LFC fans so I swallowed it.
But today I think that Liverpool should be proud of it's self as a city, today it must be great to be a Scouser. I read somewhere that the Hillsborough report has wiped away any sense of celebration left over from LONDON 2012 it shouldn't have done. The OLYMPICS have been a lesson in perseverance tenacity human triumph and team spirit  what if not those very qualities have the families of the victims been showing over the last 23 years?
I bow my head in shame and have learnt something that I should have known already.....

Friday, 7 September 2012

Jennifer Kaczmarek

Image Jennifer kaczmarek

Jennifer Kaczmarek's series and photo diary 'LOVE FOR ALYSSA' it's a little bit American but hats off as  a lot of folk would steer clear of a project like this.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Kevin Connolly

Kevin Connally is a photographer who was born with no legs. He gets about on a skateboard. He gets about on a skateboard and photographs people's reactions to what they see. To be honest it's a bit tight on his subjects, if I saw a fella with no legs on a skateboard pointing a camera at me I  would no doubt stare. Even a dog stares in one picture. Still fuck em it makes for an interesting project.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Patricia Lay-Dorsey.

Image Patricia Lay-Dorsey

 PATRICIA LAY-DORSEY'S writes of her series FALLING INTO PLACE (SELF PORTRAITS) "As an artist-turned-photographer, whenever I would see photo essays or articles featuring persons with disabilities, I would assess the work both photographically and personally. The photographs might be superb, but all to often non disabled photographers would fall into the trap of presenting their subjects as brave, pitiable; I was simply doing my best to live a full life with the hand I'd been dealt." 

Friday, 31 August 2012

Touchy Subject ?

It's the paralympic games that's got me thinking about disability (which of course is partly the point of the games) and I've been thinking about photographers either disabled or not who make work on the subject. There's a fair bit  of work been made about soldiers returning from the numerous wars that are going on and of course there's a large contingent at The Games representing that group, but outside of war casualties I've  not seen much photographic work been made on the subject. So I put out a shout on facebook via flak photo network and a new history of photography network  (both recommended if you are on Facebook) and I got back a fair few names both of disabled photographers and photographers who make work about disability. I'm sure I got back less though than if I had asked for a list of say oh I don't know.... say photographers who make work about Detroit. Why I wonder? Do able bodied photographers fear getting it wrong and the backlash and possible harm it may do to a career? I shall feature those name I got here over the next few days.

I had already decided to feature Ian Dury's Spasticus Autisticus on the blog before I saw it covered so well at the opening ceremony of the games. Once banned by the BBC now played as part of the celebration, Progress. There's also an interview with Dury done by Manchester's very own GRANADA.

P.S. Blogger spell check has no knowledge of the word Paralympic. Just saying.....

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

My old cocker Harvey Benge drew my attention to this article on the state of German photography a report by The Goethe-Institut. It's an interesting read and underlines that photography is well assimilated into a wider German art (I'd love to see one on the state of British photography)

I also love Harvey's new site featuring stacks of his work btw. See it HERE

Sunday, 26 August 2012


"Originally started back in 1999 the initial inspiration came from W. Eugene Smith’s PITTSBURGH PROJECT. The aim to make as complete a portrait as is possible of a city, in this case Manchester.

The archive exists as several hundred sixteen by twelve inch prints. It is also a blog which can be seen HERE.


THE MANCHESTER PROJECT may never be finished."

So reads the blurb that I have just upload over at my website. That's why I've not been writing here for a couple of weeks. I've been building THE MANCHESTER PROJECT blog which is a proper photo blog. No talking shit by me like here, just photo's.

Monday, 6 August 2012

My Pretend Salford.

Salford & other Myths is a set of pictures I've just uploaded HERE They are photographs (shot on film with The Frances Tonks Memory camera) of Salford or at least a Salford that lives in my head. It's not real Salford (was it ever like that?) it's the Salford of artist's and writers imagination that grew into something else. It's a pretend Salford of the first half of the twentieth century. It's a shared imagined and remembered lost past. It exists parallel  to the media barrage of scrotes and the riots and the new big Tesco's and no pubs and shiny media city. Those things are pushing my pretend Salford out of my head and I wanted to document it before I lose it. Below are things that have helped to create my lovely "in your head" Salford.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Photographs Found Under Oscar Wilde's Bed Shock!

I know how folk love a salacious headline with their Sunday morning breakfast. It like most headlines is of course complete bollocks. This picture and lots of others taken at the start of photography, comes from one of the most off the wall photo blogs I've found. MY DAGUERREOTYPE BOYFRIEND whose tag line is "Where early photography meets extreme hotness" brilliant and really silly.  

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Boring but not in a good way.

"The festival is not open to the new developments in photography, new technology, new names and faces. Film is gone. We have to stop clinging to it like some grail with the power to grant new life."

So writes Jean-Jacques Naudet  about this years Arles festival on LE JOURNAL De La PHOTOGRAPHIE. Now never having been (although I once showed work in a fringey bit) I can't possibly comment.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Henrik Malmström

I'll admit that one of the main reasons I started blogging back in 2007 was self promotion. It wasn't the only reason I also wanted to get a good go to link list of photographers who's work I liked, but mainly it was about getting a presence on the web. That probably reached it's peak a couple of years in, ran it's course, achieved as much as a blog by someone who is not part of the photo/art establishment can. "Hits" stats are fairly constant at around 9k a month so I'm not complaining but as a PR tool for yours truly it's maxed out. 
So that brings me to why I still bother. One reason is I like most artists love the sound of my own voice. The other increasingly important reason is that I get to meet, hear about and interact with all kinds of tip top folk. Over the years I've met and maintained friendships with photographers/artists from the other side of the world as well as just down the road. I also on occasion get smashing free stuff. Henrik Malmström continues that tradition. Henrik contacted me and asked if he could do swopsey's with my book 'Art is Godd'. he was offering his book 'On Borrowed Time' I nearly snatched his virtual hand off.

It's not an easy book. I was immediately transported to a very private family experience, cancer. Strangely enough it was a family situation that was very much at the forefront of my mind as it was almost twelve months to the day that my family were in the same situation as we watched my Father fall to "The big C" .  Henrik's moving series goes beyond being a darkly beautiful and touching personal tribute to his sister Maija and becomes a document of a shared human experience.